Award Date

December 2019

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Committee Member

Christine Clark

Second Committee Member

Norma Marrun

Third Committee Member

Randall Boone

Fourth Committee Member

Stefani Relles

Number of Pages



This study sought to examine the online discussions of teachers located in the Southwestern area of the United States regarding social justice issues on social media. Specifically, it looked to discover how educators in this region are attempting to assert agency when faced with socially inequitable situations. Teachers in this region are hired as public employees in a state that penalizes public workers for exhibiting opinions (SRS § 288.260, 1969).

The study utilized Cultural Historical Activity Theory along with Critical Multiculturalism to demonstrate that our present actions are culturally and historically situated while illuminating hegemonic forces. The study found that while teachers are discussing social issues of race, immigration, gender, and identity in the classroom, they were contributing to “thin multiculturalism” (Habermas, in Baumeister, 2003, p. 741). Additionally, teachers in Sierra feel that they are not being financially compensated enough. Ethnographic case study was employed, through interviews and discourse analysis, to show how online teacher engagement in the southwest region of the United States is a form of sub-culture operating within the grander scheme of neoliberalism.


Collective action; Online communities; Social Media; Social networks; Teacher discourse; Teacher satisfaction


Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education | Communication | Communication Technology and New Media | Mass Communication | Other Communication | Sociology

File Format


File Size

3.3 MB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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